Tuesday, March 11, 2008

Comments on a San Francisco Trip

- Spring is by far the best time to visit the Bay Area. Trees in full blossom, the hills still covered in green, the days warm and sunny. All in all, a lovely place to be.

- The car rental agency upgraded us to a Toyota Prius Hybrid. We drove it for 3 days. In that time we: drove from San Jose to Redwood City (to drop Ron off); from Redwood City to Berkeley (via the San Mateo Bridge); from Berkeley into and around San Francisco, from SF to (and around) Oakland, from Oakland back to SF, from SF back to Berkeley; from Berkeley over to Concord and down to Walnut Creek and back to Berkeley, then over to (and around) San Francisco, and from SF back to Berkeley; then from Berkeley back to San Jose. Just before dropping the car off I filled it up. With all that driving, we used 6.5 gallons of gas. It probably saved us $100 in fuel costs.

- We went out to dinner on Thursday night with Kirk and Betsy and Scottie, former students and friends from Turlock. I asked Betsy for her Top-5 reasons she's glad to be a student at U.C. Berkeley. #1 was "the people living in the trees." Apparently, at Cal, if you want to protest something, you climb up into a tree. The school comes along and puts a fence around the tree, leaving you up there. One group has been living in the trees over by the football stadium for more than a year. Only in Berkeley. . .which is why it's such an interesting place.

- In 1998 or 1999, I led a group from our Gresham Church on an inner-city mission trip to San Francisco with YWAM. One day we went to a daycamp at a church and played with the kids, to give the regular workers a break. Last Thursday, we drove into SF to do our mission pre-visit with the folks at the Center for Student Missions. Their offices are at 1st Baptist Church. Which, as it turns out, is the same place that daycamp was held at. Fun connections.

- I was struck on this trip by the level of noise, both aural and visual. A couple times we were driving through the heart of San Francisco, looking for restaurants/coffee shops/clothing stores/places to park, and for the first time I realized just how much the brain has to filter, from thousands of cars and tens of thousands of pedestrians, to all the street signs and store signs and advertisements and political signs, to streetcars and buses - I think I had to deal with more information in 10 seconds than I usually deal with driving all the way from Lakebay to Gig Harbor and beyond. No wonder country people are more relaxed people.

- Still, I'm excited about our summer ministry trip to San Francisco. Before, it was theoretical. Now, I've been onsite and it's becoming real. I can't wait to get back down there for a week.

- Oh, and one final note. We shared the flight home with part of the the Washington State University Band, who were in town for the Pac-10 Women's Tournament (the rest of the band was in Pullman for the WSU-UW men's game). It was like old times, being a former band geek myself. Except we also shared the plane with part of the Washington State University Cheerleading Squad. Let's just say it was fun, from a sociological perspective, to watch them wander through the airport, to watch them walking up and down the plane aisle, and, mostly, to watch how everybody else reacted to them. And it was a little sad to see just how much Paris Hilton has influenced that culture. The clothing, the makeup, the posture, the hair - you could tell who they looked to for guidance.

1 comment:

NoushaSF said...

I love SF alot ..It is an incredible city..doesn't look like anywhere